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After hard bargaining, Muslim League settles for two Lok Sabha seats, one extra RS seat

After hard bargaining, Muslim League settles for two Lok Sabha seats, one extra  RS seat

Muslim League leader and MLA PK Kunhalikutty (file photo)

After intense negotiations, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), the second-largest ally in the opposition Congress-led UDF, confirmed on Wednesday that it will contest only the two sitting seats and the current members would swap thei Lok Sabha seats.

E. T. Mohammed Basheer, currently representing Ponanni, will now contest from Malappuram, while M. P. Abdusamad Samadani, the incumbent from Malappuram, will shift to Ponanni. This decision was announced by IUML's leader Sayyid Sadik Ali Shihab Thangal following a brief meeting of the party's top brass in Malappuram.

For the past several days, speculations have been rife about the Muslim League being adamant in its demand for an additional seat, to make the tally three from Kerala. Although the party had raised this claim during previous LS elections also, all of them finally came to no avail with Congress' persuasive attempts eventually clinching the matter. However, this time IUML leadership has exacted a firm promise for an additional Rajya Sabha seat in the next round of elections falling due in the middle of this year.

Thangal also revealed that IUML would field its candidate in the Ramnathapuram Lok Sabha seat in Tamil Nadu, with incumbent MP Kani K. Navas tasked to defend the seat.

These two Lok Sabha seats in Kerala, both situated in the IUML stronghold of Malappuram district, have historically been held by the party. Despite the IUML's push for a third seat, they ultimately settled for their traditional two seats.

The CPI(M) has already announced its candidates, including K. S. Hamsa from Ponanni, a former IUML leader, and V. Vasif from Malappuram, the CPI-M's youth leader.

Leader of Opposition V. D. Satheesan confirmed that the seat-sharing discussions with the IUML went smoothly, with an agreement reached that the next Rajya Sabha seat won by the UDF would be allocated to the IUML.

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